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Richard Wollheim

(b Vienna, April 26, 1900; d New York, Feb 27, 1957).

American art historian and psychoanalyst of Austrian birth. He was a student of Julius von Schlosser at the University of Vienna and joined the staff of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, as a curator of sculpture and applied arts. He became a leading authority on late medieval and Renaissance goldsmith work and engraved gems, and produced Meister und Meisterwerke der Steinschneidekunst in der italienischen Renaissance in 1928.

Kris became associated with the world of psychoanalysis as a result of his friendship with, and marriage in 1927 to, the daughter of Freud’s family doctor, Oscar Rie. Kris first combined art historical and psychoanalytic method in his study of the physiognomic busts of Franz-Xavier Messerschmidt, the findings of which he presented in separate papers intended for audiences of art historians or of psychoanalysts. In 1932 Kris was made an editor of Imago, the journal of applied psychoanalysis, and he started practising psychoanalysis. He continued to catalogue the goldsmith work in the Kunsthistorisches Museum and initiated two research projects bridging his two interests: one on the myth of the artist, the other on facial expression in the arts, with (respectively) ...

Article

Edith W. Kirsch

(b Cincinnati, March 25, 1904; d Princeton, June 12, 1975).

American art historian. He was educated at the universities of Princeton (BA) and New York (MA, PhD), lecturing at the latter from 1931 to 1933. He subsequently became Lecturer and finally Professor of Fine Arts and Archaeology at Columbia University (1934–53); Professor as well as Curator of Paintings at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University (1954–8); Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, from 1958 to 1975. He was editor of the Art Bulletin from 1940 to 1942, an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Medieval Academy of America, receiving the Haskins Medal in 1953; he was also a corresponding member of a number of foreign societies, including the British Academy, the Société des Antiquaires de France and the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence. A student of ...

Article

Michael Podro and Margaret Barlow

(b Hannover, March 30, 1892; d Princeton, NJ, March 14, 1968).

German art historian, active in the USA. He wrote primarily on late medieval and Renaissance art in northern Europe and Italy, mostly, but by no means exclusively, on painting.

Panofsky’s doctoral dissertation (1915) was on the relation of Dürer’s theory of art to that in Renaissance Italy; in 1923 he and Fritz Saxl published a study of Dürer’s engraving Melencolia I. In 1926 he became the first professor of art history at the new university of Hamburg, where he was closely involved with Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945), the professor of philosophy, and with Saxl and Aby Warburg at the Bibliothek Warburg. Panofsky’s name is often narrowly associated with the search for the subject-matter of paintings through reference to traditional imagery and literature. However, his writing always involved a much more ambitious and coherent mode of critical interpretation: he sought consistently to place individual works of art in relation to what he took to be an underlying aspect of the human situation, the reciprocity between ‘objectivity’—our receptive relation to the external world—and ‘subjectivity’—the constructive activity of our thought....

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Berlin, May 14, 1900; d London, Sept 12, 1971).

German art historian active in Germany, the USA, and England. His work transcends the conventional categories of academic specialization, combining philosophical and aesthetic insight with a sensitive eye and an exceptional range of historical and literary learning. He studied Classics, philosophy, and art history in Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna, obtaining his DPhil in 1922 in Hamburg under Erwin Panofsky with a thesis on the relation between aesthetic appreciation and historical scholarship. The neo-Kantian influence of Ernst Cassirer in Hamburg was soon superseded by the pragmatism of Charles S. Pierce, which he encountered while teaching philosophy at North Carolina (1925–7). On his return to Hamburg as research assistant at the Bibliothek Warburg, this pragmatism was infused with Aby Warburg’s concept of cultural history, interest in the psychological potency of images, and fascination with significant detail. The close relationship between the two men is documented in Warburg’s diaries. After submitting his anti-Kantian treatise, ...